A Palestinian stone-thrower looks on as he stands in front of a fire during clashes with IDF troops in the West Bank village of Duma.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Increased penalties for adult and minor rock-throwers will go to a first reading in the Knesset Monday, a day after the Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved the measure, as part of the government’s response to the recent wave of Arab violence.
The proposals by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, enthusiastically backed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, include a minimum four-year prison sentence for adults involved in especially dangerous rock throwing, such as at a moving vehicle.
If a minor is caught throwing rocks, a judge may decide to freeze his or her parents’ National Insurance Institute and other benefits for the period during which the minor is in prison, and the parents could be fined for an amount higher than the frozen benefits.
Previously, a minor could be sent to jail or the parents could be fined, but the new legislation would allow both penalties simultaneously.
In July, the Knesset passed a law stiffening the maximum prison sentences for the more dangerous rock-throwing crimes, but minimum sentences were not set.
“These important laws establish the minimum punishments for rock-throwing terrorists and harm the pockets of families that do not take responsibility for educating their children,” Shaked said.
The Justice Minister added that “in these crazy days, security forces and the judiciary must have all creative and penalizing tools.”
MK Ahmed Tibi (Joint List) alleged that the government is “pouring fuel on the fire by increasing penalties for Palestinian minors after easing open-fire instructions, and has brought on a ‘Wild West’ atmosphere in which Arabs are killed on the streets of Israel.
“Palestinians do not need incitement, because the government of Israel and its decisions, and the occupation and its injustices are the incitement that motivate their rage,” Tibi claimed.